Death & Co

Having a friendly, laid-back spot for classic cocktailing is every American's right -- but just like your right to gamble while heavily medicated, this one's often trampled on by ineptitude and greed. Here to secure your libational liberties: just-opened Death & Co.

D&C's a high-end, dimly lit sanctuary for both the casual and professional boozist. Despite having limited frills, the Prohibition-y bar's reeled in talent from Pegu, Flatiron Lounge, Mas, and Stanton Social -- a Top Gun class of 'tenders, with no scowling "Jester" to stop them from giving your tower a buzz. The hooch itself displays both quality and depth (e.g., three varieties of Barbancourt rum, as opposed to the typical none). The drinks are outstanding, but prices are a notch below comparable establishments' -- and the martinis/Manhattans come with an iced-down "dividend", yielding you a bullish 170% return on your investment. As for food, the small plates are designed to interrupt drinking minimally, like truffled mac & cheese that actually comes pre-scooped onto six fat spoons -- basically, things could only be easier if your waitress chewed and yacked it into your cheeping beak.

The only drawback is, D&C's miniscule, so despite having no door policy, getting in can be a mild bitch (but once you do, there are no annoying Milk and Honey-like "rules"). Reservations'll be taken for early hours only (6-10pm); after that it's first-come, first-served, but if they're full you can leave your name and they'll ring your cell when a space opens up. Meanwhile, you can wait at the nearby Cherry Tavern -- sucking down that bar's venerable Tecate/Tequila special 'til not even Death enjoys your company.